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   26 Tishrei 5775 / Monday, October 20, 2014 | Torah Reading Noach       
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HomeJudaismConcepts in JudaismReserved Parking
Reserved Parking
By: Chaya Golda Ovadia

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Most of us understand the general concept of emuna (literally, faith). We believe in G-d and know that He is ‘running the show’. Many of us realize that without HaShem’s help we would be nothing. We learn and try to digest that He did, does and will do EVERYTHING (from Rambam’s 13 Principles of Faith). G-d is absolute and without Him, existence would cease. We are expected to trust in G-d, as this bitachon (trust) enables us to fully reinforce our emuna. After all, it is difficult to categorically accept something or someone that you can’t trust. Conversely, it is can be challenging to trust in something even with a firm belief if there is no physical ‘proof’. We can get stuck on the notion of not being able to fully internalize that which is not visible to us. Baruch HaShem, thank G-d, our neshamas (souls) help us overcome our intellect for the sake of spiritual growth.
In the interest of discussion, let’s assume that we have trust and emuna down pat (a major achievement) or are at least making an effort to strengthen both. Despite being armed with all this knowledge and awareness, do we put this insight to constant use in our everyday lives? Since HaShem oversees even the tiniest and inconsequential events in our lives, why not invite Him to actively participate in every aspect of our daily routine? Even the most mundane circumstances can glow with a tinge of holiness through the involvement of our Heavenly Father Who directs it all. By allowing Him to be ever-present, our lives will flow much more smoothly.
An example of this was a recurring situation which, if left to my own devices, would have ended in frustration. Over the past couple weeks I had been regularly visiting a relative in Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem.  Shaare Tzedek is a wonderful hospital, boasting many highly qualified medical personnel, but the parking situation definitely needs to be addressed. In order to find a parking spot, one must turn in circles countless times and even then it is often futile. When a space finally becomes available, there are two or three cars vying to secure takeover.
I would drive up and down the long, overcrowded rows of cars until I finally decided to ask HaShem to help me find a space. There was no advantage in becoming stressed despite the seeming hopelessness of the situation. Each time, within a minute or so of asking for this favor, I would catch a glimpse of a person going to their car and leaving the vacancy for me. Miraculously, there was no one else around and no disputes over who gets the spot. To top it off, I was always able to park very close to the entrance. This happened several days in a row; Hassle-free, reserved parking for the asking.
By now you’re probably thinking, ok, so eventually everyone gets a place to park. G-d doesn’t really help a person locate a parking spot. After all, in the grand scheme of things, parking is not so important. Why should HaShem waste His time on those little matters?
He does it bring us closer to Him. By depending on Him for all issues, regardless how trivial, we can feel Him with us continuously. He is our Father. He wants us to know that He is ALWAYS there, guiding us and supporting us.
He helps you find your missing keys in the morning or spills your coffee for reasons known to Him alone. He helps you pass your test or convinces the client to hire you for the project you’ve been working on. He brings the noisy dog to annoy you if it’s for your benefit and guards over you while you sleep. He “sustains the living with kindness, resuscitates the dead with abundant mercy, supports the fallen, heals the sick, releases the confined and maintains His faith to those asleep in the dust”. (Shemona Esrei) There is not a millisecond of your being that He misses. The best part is, He is there to listen whenever you call out to Him 24/7, no matter what the occasion, large and life threatening or small and presumably insignificant.
If you haven’t been talking to G-d on a regular basis and don’t ask Him for special kindnesses, you should give it a try. Bear in mind that we don’t always get everything we request, but we can’t receive an answer if we don’t ask the question. HaShem longs for us to create small openings through which His Wonders and Light can emanate. It is the merging of all these holy sparks that will eventually generate a huge bonfire of Glory.
To get back my story about the hospital parking dilemma, the last time I was there made me realize I had to share my enthusiasm on this topic. I had been driving around relentlessly but the final straw was an illegally parked car which was blocking a whole row of exasperated drivers. This was not going to clear up anytime soon, so that was my cue to seek intervention from the Master of the Universe. I had just finished my short prayer, when I suddenly spotted a woman walking down the grade toward a separate section of the lot. Unbeknownst to anyone else, I made my way to the top of the road where I sat waiting patiently for her to back out. It was then I saw it. Written boldly across the back window of her car was the pinnacle of truth, the culmination of all I was feeling at that moment. I knowingly smiled as I read to myself “Ein Od Milvado” – There is Nothing but Him.  What more proof could one ask for?



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